. that's why president obama organized the meeting with vice president biden, speaker boehner, nancy pelosi and senators reid and mcconnell. he urged them to extend jobless benefits. we can deal with cuts to defense and domestic programs later. but let's take care of the middle and working class right now. give them assurance right now. joining me is congressman chief ellison. he's co-chair of the progressive caucus and melissa harris perry, host of the melissa harris perry show here on msnbc. thank you both for coming on the show. >> thank you, al. >> congressman, let me go to you first, this deal comes down to taxing the rich. how can they not realize this is what the country wants? >> i don't think that the republican leadership cares what the country wants. i think they care about what their biggest donors want and their big donors want to reorganize america so that -- because they believe that the rich don't have enough money and the poor have too much. so what we're hearing here is an expression of an et you logical idea that we need american society to be cost competitive with
administration to deal with the financial crisis. earlier that year, harry reid and nancy pelosi gave george bush a stimulus. what happened was two things, al. first of all, barack obama got reelected. and for a variety of reasons, the republicans never game barack obama the kind of cooperation we gave george bush. of course you should disagree. but then in the end, you try to work things out. when george bush came to harry reid, we worked with him to go and to come to an agreement. mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, said my number one agenda item is to defeat barack obama. and then in 2010, people were elected who don't believe in govern nans. who don't understand reality. it's not like we've had it forever. we didn't have it before the partisanship and there was some people so offended by the notion that barack obama could win for a variety of reasons, that they decided to delegitize it. i think you're going to see a gradual relinquishment of this kind of obstructionist death grip they have on the party. >> plet me ask you, you're leaving washington after serving so long and so well.
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